US companies lead the way on growth


More than four out of 10 companies in the United States achieved above-average levels of growth last year, confirming its status as the world's most dynamic economy.

That's according to the Super Growth Index, part of the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), which surveyed more than 7,200 businesses owners from 32 countries.

The US has topped the Index for the third year running, with 44 per cent of companies achieving "super growth" status.

So-called "super growth" companies are those which have grown considerably more than average when ranked against four key indicators: absolute growth in turnover (adjusted for inflation); the percentage growth in turnover (adjusted for inflation); absolute growth in employee numbers; the percentage growth in employee numbers.

But hot on the heals of the U.S. is an unlikely newcomer to the survey, the former Soviet republic of Armenia, where some 38 per cent of businesses have achieved super growth.

Ireland was the highest- ranked EU country, taking third spot in the league table with 29 per cent super growth businesses, followed by the UK, a quarter of whose businesses (26 per cent) achieved above-average growth.

But significantly, only three EU states made it into the top ten, with Germany taking tenth place. France, with a mere eight per cent of its companies achieving super growth, could only scrape into 27th position.

In contrast to Armenia's rapid rise, two of Asia's tiger economies saw significant falls in their positions, with India dropping from second place in 2006 to just 15th (with 15 per cent super growth companies) in 2007, while Hong Kong (with 18 per cent) plummeted from third place to 11th.

Malaysia fell 18 places from 8th to 26th and New Zealand dropped from 15th to 28th place.

Winners included South Africa at number five spot with 25 per cent super growth companies, the Philippines (with 21 per cent super growth companies), which climbed 15 places from 23rd to 8th place, Argentina (14 per cent) rising from 27th to 15th, Russia (14 per cent) from 29th to 18th place and Italy (11 per cent) which ascended from 30th to 21st place.

Anuj Chande, International Business Partner at Grant Thornton, said that Armenia's performance made it the clear winner from the survey.

"On further inspection this can be explained by strong GDP growth which has exceeded 10 per cent per annum over the past few years," he explained.

"It would have been difficult to predict India and Hong Kong's decline in the league tables, as one would have expected them to continue the rampant growth they have experienced in the past few years.

"However, companies there are clearly consolidating their business models, reviewing their growth strategies and concentrating on significantly increasing their profit levels," he added.